A Toronto man accused of fatally stabbing a woman at a downtown law firm is now facing a first-degree murder charge, police said on Tuesday.
Osman Osman, 33, of Toronto, was initially charged with second-degree murder in the death of Julia Ferguson, 29, after he surrendered to police. The attack happened on Sept. 2 shortly before 2 p.m. at 238 King St. E., near Sherbourne Street.
The charge, however, was upgraded to first-degree murder in a College Park courtroom in Toronto on Tuesday. Osman has been remanded into custody.
According to police, a man entered the law firm, Hicks Adam LLP, and stabbed Ferguson while she was working. Paramedics then rushed her to a trauma centre.
Ferguson died in hospital three days later.
Police have said the attack was not random and the suspect had a "previous connection" to Hicks Adam LLP, which describes itself as "one of the largest criminal law firms in Canada."
Ferguson's brother, Chris Ferguson, 40, has described his sister as "kind and selfless."
A GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $78,000 for her family, said she was a receptionist at the law firm.
"If you were blessed to know Julia, you know what a beautiful and kind hearted soul she was. Those who know her can tell you that she was an exceptional human being. Julia was young, beautiful, vivacious and full of life," the page reads.
"Julia was also a cherished part of the team at Hicks Adams LLP. Not only did she run the front desk with kindness and compassion, she offered her insight and ideas to improve the firm. Her presence at the front of the office brightened everyone's days. Many of her colleagues were lucky to have been her friend outside of the office as well," the page continues.
"The entire firm is devastated by her tragic loss."
Ferguson is Toronto's 55th homicide victim of the year.